At Playa Cativo Lodge, our team is dedicated to sustainability and preserving the beauty of the gulf and rainforest for future generations. We invite guests to learn, share ideas and take home some of the practices that we’ve implemented at our Costa Rica eco lodge.
We encourage guests to be responsible and make small changes to help the environment when they return home from Playa Cativo. As Mother Teresa once said, “I alone cannot change the world, but I can cast a stone across the waters to create many ripples.”
It’s easy to complain about what others are doing wrong, how they are polluting the world, or how businesses contribute to pollution. Yet, we need to remember that change starts with each one of us. Even with baby steps, we can create ripples that will turn around past careless behavior.
IRRESPONSIBLE BEHAVIOR IS THE LAST STRAW
One easy step that anyone can begin today is to stop using straws with drinks. Years ago, one of Playa Cativo’s managers worked with a chain of restaurants, purchasing two to three cases of straws per week. (This adds up to about 2,000 straws per case . . . multiply that by the 100 to 200 restaurants for an idea of the weekly waste involved!) Take into consideration where they are manufactured, stored in large pallets, shipped overseas, trucked to another warehouse, trucked again to each town, and distributed to individual restaurants. In the end, the large boxes are discarded, leaving only the smaller packages. Finally, each restaurant diner unwraps the individual straw. A few minutes later, the waiter puts that same straw and its wrapper into the trash can — starting a similar long and well-known process of waste “management.”
Aside from the waste of money, here are a few factors to consider when using straws with a drink:
• Pollution from straws, boxes, bags and paper wrapper factories (including the factories that manufacture their equipment)
• Shipping vessels pollute oceans and trucks pollute the environment while creating traffic
• Over-sized warehouses are needed to accommodate the stock
• Tons of non-recyclable garbage is created (without counting straws that end up in streets and rivers)
• Plastic trash bags are used to discard them after a few minutes of use
• The tremendous community efforts and cost to manage all this waste
• The senseless use of natural resources and energy to support this process instead of more meaningful uses
We all have the power to create a ripple effect and change the world. Let’s start by saying, “No thank you,” when offered a straw with your drink!